The Investec Ashes 2013 August 22, 2013

Bird flies home with back pain


The casualty list among Australia's fast bowlers has grown with Jackson Bird set to fly home from England with pain in his lower back. Although the seriousness of Bird's injury is not yet known, worryingly for the Australians this is the second overseas tour this year that has ended early for Bird due to a back problem, after he flew home from India during the first Test in Chennai in February.

"Jackson has had low back pain over the past week of the Ashes tour and will return to Australia today to begin the process of investigating the source of the pain and rehabilitation," the team physiotherapist Alex Kountouris said on Thursday.

Bird played the fourth Investec Test at Chester-le-Street and bowled well at times, collecting 2 for 58 in the first innings but also struggled for penetration in other spells and did not claim a wicket in the second innings. Bird, 26, has been highly effective for Tasmania at almost every venue in Australia and he could be an important bowler in the home Ashes if fit.

Bird is the second Australia fast bowler to suffer a back problem on this tour after James Pattinson was diagnosed with a stress fracture early in the series. Australia's fast-bowling stocks were also hit this week by the news that Pat Cummins would almost certainly miss a third consecutive domestic summer due to a back injury.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on August 26, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    attention Australian cricket bosses,i think you should seriously consider sacking the entire fitness group who are responsible for the wellbeing of our fast bowlers.It bewilders me that our bowlers can get through the vigors of Sheffield shield cricket and then when picked to represent our country our bowlers seem to be forever getting injured. As a lover of cricket I have never seen so many pace bowlers break down once they are part of the national machine and it all points to your so called fitness gurus.There must be an investigation!!!

  • Vaidyanathan on August 23, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    Hope the winds are favourable. Can be tricky to fly that distance with a back pain.

    The comments show how many people came in just by the title. If only there was a batsman called Ship. He could drop anchor at one end. Trott could then run away with the match before Bell peals another 100. Gotta love the art of headline writing.

  • Garreth on August 23, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    It can be quite tricky for a bird to fly home with a back injury.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    He was running around at The Oval yesterday. Must have been a late flight after the game.. Can't imagine he's too bad. Just a precaution and get him ready for November.

  • VENKATACHALAM on August 23, 2013, 6:42 GMT

    He will be vital in the return Ashes. Aussies need him to be fit.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2013, 2:16 GMT

    I will say it again .... when are the Australian Trainers going to be made accountable for destroying Australian Cricket Players

  • Pranay on August 23, 2013, 1:57 GMT

    "Fish got to swim, Bird got to fly", why that's a news? :) Oh, may be because flying with back pain is something special.

  • Peter on August 23, 2013, 1:33 GMT

    thats a long way to fly with a sore back. Will he be able to have any tea breaks? Surely it would be easier to bowl the last test and then ride home on a plane.

  • Angry on August 23, 2013, 0:04 GMT

    We tend to think of the young players as being more prone to this, but Bird is a bit older and he hasn't had to play many Tests. Indeed, in India he was sent home before he got a game. And yet he played his seasons with Tasmania with few injuries. It would be interesting if it's not so much the much vaunted Test workload, as the training techniques for Australia's bowlers that need to be reassessed.